Urgent Response to Biological Threats  

  HEADDr Jean-Claude Manuguerra / jmanugu@pasteur.fr
  MEMBERSChristophe Batéjat, Ana Maria Burguière, Gilberte Coralie, Amélie Dublineau
Frédéric Fichenick, Florence Fouque, Christiane Goisnard, Dr India Leclercq, Claudine Rousseaux, Yassine Rechoum

  Annual Report


The Laboratory for Urgent Response to Biological Threats, called in French Cellule d’Intervention Biologique d’Urgence (CIBU), was created at the end of 2002, under the impulse of the Directorate-General of Health of the Ministry in charge of Health and the Director General of the Pasteur Institute, to respond to "specialized biological urgencies". These urgencies are dealt with in the event of epidemics, accidents, or bioterrorist attacks using biological weapons which can endanger public health.

Area of intervention

CIBU intervenes in the detection and identification of the following microbiological agents: 1/ Bacteriology: agents of botulism, anthrax, plague, and tularemia. For other bacteria, the detection and identification is performed by the Centre for Molecular Identification of Bacteria; 2/ Virology: detection of class 4 agents by molecular biology without virus amplification in cell culture (this is made to avoid working on class 4 agents without knowing so): Ebola and Marburg, Crimea Congo, Lassa and Nipah viruses. Detection of influenza A(H5N1) viruses, SARS coronavirus and orthopoxviruses. Besides intervention activities, CIBU develops research oriented activities and research projects in direct connection with its core missions.

Research oriented activities and research projects

BASE (Bac Giang Acute Syndrome of Encephalitis): The objective of this program is the molecular characterization of a potentially new virus causing encephalitis in children in North Vietnam. To this end, CIBU has been implementing non- specific molecular methodologies based on random amplification and polymorphism display followed by cloning and sequencing. BASE is a collaborative project led by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Biodiversity of viruses with epidemic potential and biorisk assessment and control: Our observation of viral biodiversity is based on a taxonomy approach and uses glass slide high density DNA microarrays (hybridization and resequencing). These are applied in the New Emerging Viral Agent Discovery and Analysis (NEVADA) and the Respiratory Syndrome DNA microarray projects. NEVADA objectives are to discover and describe viruses unknown to date. In the event of new emergence, prior knowledge resulting from preliminary discoveries should enable the quick detection of a new virus and swift and effective response and control of the new disease.

RIVERS: This project called ‘Resistance of Influenza Viruses in Environmental Reservoirs and Systems’ with the acronym of RIVERS is coordinated by CIBU with a strong involvement of the whole team. RIVERS (www.rivers-project.eu) is sharply focused and is a research and technological development project designed to gain new knowledge to improve or develop new products and processes. The surge of the global avian influenza epizootic caused by the genotype Z high pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) has posed numerous questions, in particular to risk managers and policy makers. Scientific knowledge is thin on many aspects of the ecology and environmental properties of HPAIVs, in particular H5N1. Virus survival, a key element in control strategies, is an illustration of this paucity of knowledge. More specific objectives are: 1/ to understand the basis of virus survival from a virological viewpoint; 2/ to understand the impact of physical and chemical elements on virus survival; 3/ to evaluate the role of environmental reservoirs; 4/ to propose standardised protocols for the concentration and detection of AIVs in waters, including waste waters, and in different matrices including food; 5/ to provide a database together with analytical tools to allow the generation of evidence based guidelines for the prevention and control of influenza outbreaks in animal and human populations, especially at times of restocking.

Keywords: Emergency, response, virus, bacteria, outbreak, epidemic, threat, avian influenza, diagnostic


Medeiros R, Rameix-Welti MA, Lorin V, Ribaud P, >Manuguerra JC, Socie G, Scieux C, Naffakh N, van der Werf S. (2007) Failure of zanamivir therapy for pneumonia in a bone-marrow transplant recipient infected by a zanamivir-sensitive influenza A (H1N1) virus. Antivir Ther. 12(4):571-6.

Rotureau B, Gaborit P, Issaly J, Carinci R, Fouque F, Carme B. (2006) Diversity and ecology of sand flies (>Diptera: Psychodidae>: >Phlebotominae) in coastal French Guiana. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 75(1):62-9. PMID: 16837710.

Song, H. D., Tu, C. C., Zhang, G. W., Wang, S. Y., Zheng, K., Lei, L. C., Chen, Q. X., Gao, Y. W., Zhou, H. Q., Xiang, H., Zheng, H. J., Chern, S. W., Cheng, F., Pan, C. M., Xuan, H., Chen, S. J., Luo, H. M., Zhou, D. H., Liu, Y. F., He, J. F., Qin, P. Z., Li, L. H., Ren, Y. Q., Liang, W. J., Yu, Y. D., Anderson, L., Wang, M., Xu, R. H., Wu, X. W., Zheng, H. Y., Chen, J. D., Liang, G., Gao, Y., Liao, M., Fang, L., Jiang, L. Y., Li, H., Chen, F., Di, B., He, L. J., Lin, J. Y., Tong, S., Kong, X., Du, L., Hao, P., Tang, H., Bernini, A., Yu, X. J., Spiga, O., Guo, Z. M., Pan, H. Y., He, W. Z., Manuguerra, J. C., Fontanet, A., Danchin, A., Niccolai, N., Li, Y. X., Wu, C. I. & Zhao, G. P. (2005). Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102, 2430-5. PMID: 15695582.

Oxford JS, Manuguerra JC>, Kistner O, Linde A, Kunze M, Lange W, Schweiger B, Spala G, Rebelo de Andrade H, Perez Brena PR, Beytout J, Brydak L, Caraffa de Stefano D, Hungnes O, Kyncl J, Montomoli E, Gil de Miguel A, Vranckx R, Osterhaus (2005) A. A new European perspective of influenza pandemic planning with a particular focus on the role of mammalian cell culture vaccines, Vaccine, 23(46-47):5440-9

Meijer A, Valette M, Manuguerra JC, Perez-Brena P, Paget J, Brown C, van der Velden K. (2005) Virology Working Group of the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme Implementation of the community network of reference laboratories for human influenza in Europe. J Clin Virol., 34(2):87-96. PMID: 16157259.

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Activity Reports 2007 - Institut Pasteur
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